Junal on the run

New Facebook profile page is coming…

Posted on: March 8, 2008

I have this friend who sends me application invitation at least once in a day. And it’s been more that 2 months since he started sending invitations. Today, I was just wondering how many applications he has installed under his belt? I was sure there were lots of applications added in his belt, how I understood? Because you can not invite a friend without adding the application. So went to see his profile to see how it looks like. Well, first of all I had to wait at least 3 minutes to let the profile page load fully! This is the image that I took from his profile page!

Image from my friend’s profile page…

Holy crap! It’s height is bigger than what I expected. And it’s messier that what I imagined! Look at the scroll that I pointed out in the image, how small it is. Doesn’t it show the page size of the profile? Now look at the left side selected box which says “add more profile boxes”- more? How many profile boxes you want me to add in my profile? Wide profile box (i.e fb: wide) brings the page at that down. What about Narrow profile box? I saw they got down in the same position as well (note that FB application’s profile box could be either narrow or wide at a time but not the both…).You must be kidding. Did you think about this spam flood, Facebook?

Anyways, facebook started realizing it now. Recently, they have restricted developers to send limited invitations and last night they announced that they are going to make a big change in profile page. Let me paste some important points here from the announcement:

> whereas installed application boxes always currently appear on the profile page, after the change they will not by default appear on the default tab of the profile. Users will need to explicitly choose to add the box to the “Wall” tab of their profile page.

> on the “Wall” tab of the profile (which is the default tab), up to 3 profile boxes will appear by default. They must all be in the narrow column, and have a maximum height of 400 pixels.

>Up to 5 application profile boxes can appear on the “About” tab, and they can be wide there.

> Facebook “may” add a tab containing application profile boxes to a user’s home page, but that has not been decided yet.

> Users can add between 2-4 application tabs to their profile – exactly how many is not determined yet, and Facebook have not announced how users will add application tabs. Tabs will work like current canvas pages.

> there will be new API calls and FBML tags.

Personally, I’m glad to see these upcoming changes. Well these changes might apply from beginning of April, 07. Now, users will have limited profile page.

These changes will likely have a pretty big impact on the value of the profile box as a point of retention/engagement and a viral channel for applications as a whole.

From a developer’s point of view, I feel this is going to be a bit more challenging, because now it will be hard to get the attention of users on their application.Narrow and wide profile boxes are going to be placed in different tabs. As a FB developer I have to think about profile box. Because now a user can not just drag and drop the narrow to wide or wide to narrow profile box. Plus it’s restricted now. And there’s gonna be a new API calls and FBML tag!

So, we gotta wait to see the real impact till these changes applied.

Reference: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/03/07/new-facebook-profile-page-means-big-changes-for-apps/

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